Old Wives' Tales
Radio & TV
Toxin du jour
Claim: The winner of the FOX reality TV show "Murder in Small Town X," a New York city firefighter, was killed during rescue efforts at the World Trade Center after the
Example: [Collected on the Internet, 2001]
Origins: Many of us who watched the events of
One way we deal with that sense of disconnectedness is to try to find someone with whom we can identify — someone to whom we can put a name or a face, or with whom we can find some common bond. For many of us that person was 35-year-old New York firefighter Angel Juarbe.
Angel was one of ten contestants on the summer TV program "Murder in Small Town X, in
Here, then, was our connection. Here was a person whom millions of us — even if only indirectly through the medium of television — had once seen walk and talk and breathe and laugh. Someone who described himself to a viewing audience as "stubborn" and "dependable" and said he handled uncomfortable situations "rationally and logically." Someone whom we rooted for (or against) for several weeks as he struggled to solve a mystery. Someone whose anxiety we shared as he tracked down a killer while trying to avoid becoming a victim himself — even if it was all a bit of fiction created for our entertainment.
We mourn Angel, just as we mourn the thousands of other victims who perished that day, and we perhaps feel extra grief for Angel's loss because he gave his life attempting to save others. And we feel an additional bit of sadness for Angel because, even if we didn't truly know him, he was our friend.
Last updated: 21 April 2008
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